Earlier this week it was a case of Musical Starlings on the Townsend Meadow power lines. Here, back in February, the moon was also having a go. Can the moon play a tune? I think it might – if we listen with our inner ear.
But it’s always cheering to spot one. Even more so if they burst into song and brighten up a wintery twilight. But they can be fractious, being fiercely territorial when it comes to seeing off competitors. They are also very demanding. For much of last year I had one appear as soon as I started work on my allotment plot. If I went near any of my compost heaps, it was there at my feet, demanding that I instantly turn over the heap so it could stuff itself with worms. Obviously I had been labouring under a misapprehension thinking I was the allotment holder. Silly me. As I said: robins rule. I was just there as the field hand.
Rooks in the ash trees, St. Bride’s Castle, Pembrokeshire
Looks like Owl has been on a festive-season bender and is yet to recover his wits (as in wits-de-woo?). He’s supposed to be on duty seeing off pigeons, and every now and then a human climbs the church tower to put him in a fresh, deemed intimidating pose. Clearly he’s not seeing much from under his Santa hat. Even Weather Cock is giving him the cold shoulder. Even the local doves are having a good laugh – hoo-hoo-hoo, they chortle. I caught them at it just a few minutes ago as I walked back from a trip to the shop.
Well! The things that go on in Much Wenlock. One could faint with the excitement of it all.
This cockerel had worked himself up into quite fury. None of the other hens and ornamental cockerels in the garden were paying him a blind bit of notice. Pfft. This called for a spot of high-speed strutting, hence the blurry image…
At least the daisies were standing to attention even if no one else was…
These photos were taken a couple of springs ago at Arley Aboretum beside the River Severn, an almost local beauty spot, and a place with plenty of scope for upward gazing among majestic trees.
In recent days there has been a bit of a coup over in the crab apple at the top of the garden. Mama Blackbird has staked her claim to the crop. In fact the other morning I caught her seeing off the male blackbird in a most aggressive manner. No quarter given there then. He went off in a fluster.
Back in early December it was he who was King of the Crab Apples. There had been no frost or snow to soften the fruit, and he was finding the going tough, adopting a fencer’s lunging stroke to slice off shreds of fruity flesh. Once in a while he’d (accidently) end up with a whole mini-apple wedged in his beak, too hard to scrunch in one pincer movement. Next would come a rapid descent to the garden path to sort himself out. Once or twice I thought he was in danger of choking, and wondered what the procedure might be – to unchoke a blackbird. But then he hopped back on the fence and, if birds can cough, he coughed a few times and returned to lunging.
And so now all is clear. There was naturally a very good reason why Mama Blackbird was biding her time, waiting for wintery weather to make easy pickings of the apples .
Apple Sorbet on a stalk. Mine! All mine! says Mama Merle.
Grey squirrels don’t hibernate, though they are said to do less scampering in wintery weather, and when it is very cold, they will curl themselves up, using their tails like duvets.
These photos were taken before the snow when the big oaks at the top of the Linden Field were alive with squirrel-kind seeking out acorns. They were also pretty busy after the snow, doubtless seeking out their respective stashes. But here’s the thing. It seems they are a sneaky lot and will make a big pretence of burying nuts in particular places to fool other squirrels. The little dupers.
Becky has a wonderful sun for us today.
The MacMoos have multiplied. They seem to have taken over the town. At the moment we have three in the Cutlins meadow near our house. But yesterday when we walked over to the petrol station supermarket at the other end of Wenlock, we found the field opposite was brimming with them. Must remember to take my camera the next time I go shopping. I’m not sure why they are so smile-inducing, only that they are. Such placid, shaggy souls.
The other morning I found the frost had left this ice skin on the very top of the garden water butt. We’ve had days of rain and it was filled to the brim with downpourings from the old privy roof. Most curious, I thought. It looks like a pile of actual leaves, some reedy plant, say. Or else in some mysterious way the water’s surface had replicated, as it froze, the flattened leaves of the Crocosmia that grows a few feet away over the fence. So does this mean that a common or garden water butt can make art; or create, when the elements conspire, its own version of monochrome digital images? It would seem so. I herewith proffer the evidence.
This week Cee gives up lots of close-up inspiration. Please pay her a visit.